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Ashley Ridge needs a house. Summerville needs a home.

It’s time for us to put down permanent roots on our land in Summers Corner because Summerville needs a safe place that is FOR them. Our kids need a safe place to learn and grow. Our students need a place that will always be there for them to ask the hard questions that come with growing up. The Expanding the Table food truck needs a home base to reach even more people in Summerville. Summerville needs a place where anyone can belong, even before they believe, but it’s so much bigger than us. It’s time to build a permanent home so that generations to come will know that they have a Heavenly Father who is FOR them!

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Building Update

June 1

Building Update 051, Patience and Perseverance

        June 1                     Building Update 051   

         “Patience & Perseverance”

There won’t be any numbers, facts or figures, and heck, not even a request for funds in this building update as I wanted to share with you a few of my thoughts going forward into the pre-construction phase of the building project.  This journey of forging a permanent home base for Ashley Ridge Church will put our patience & perseverance to the test.  There will be successes and there will be setbacks before it’s all said and done.  SO, I wanted to arm us with some scripture to meet the demands of the task before us.

“And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”      – James 1:4

I am not a patient person by nature, but I know it is a critical factor to the success of any major project, so I usually make-up for my lack of patience with an intense focus.  I told Pastor Jenn at one of our first meetings discussing the building project that I can get tunnel vision from time to time because I’m so concentrated and laser focused on completing “the mission.”  I am happy to report she and Rick White have done a good job keeping me on track!

But, this scripture verse tells me two important things:  1)  that ALL our hard work, time, energy and effort that goes into completing a task is there for a reason, and that reason is to have a perfect result and for us to develop all the necessary traits to make us perfect, compete, lacking in nothing.  In other words, nothing is lost, nothing is wasted and no sacrifice is in vain!  It is all a part of His perfect plan to make us better Christians and servants and be able to take on the challenges of the world and 2) as much as we want to be “in control” and set the timeline, it’s really God that is in control as He knows the route we need to take to reach our destination.  He knows the journey we take is just as important as the end result!

WE are on this incredible journey T-O-G-E-T-H-E-R to building a permanent home base for Ashley Ridge Church in Summerville, so let us “endure the trials, strive for the perfect result and become more complete along the way.”

Derrick Horres, AR Building Project Leader    

Building Update

May 25

Building Update 050 – Family Meeting, Part 1

  May 25                        Building Update 050   

          “Family Meeting – Part 1”

The only thing more exciting than watching Phil win the PGA on Kiawah Island this Sunday was Pastor Jenn giving us the latest scoop on the Ashley Ridge Church building project! She also talked about all the exciting AR programs and ministry opportunities, but for this update, I would like to focus just on the latest building project news.  NOTE:  If you missed the Family Meeting – Part 1 on Sunday, please take the time to go back and view this important and informative event on the church’s YouTube channel.

During the meeting, Pastor Jenn walked us through the major (building) Project Milestones completed to date and what lies ahead in 2021.  The recap is as follows:

Project Milestones (2020)                     Completed Action or Product Delivered                   

Operating Budget Freeze 2020              Cut expenses and built margin in Operating Acct.

Surge & Stretch Challenge 2020            Capital Campaign for funding building expenses

EquipLABS Session (ES)                            Building Floor Plan Phase 1 & Masterplan

Establish Reserve Fund                             100K put side for emergencies/contingencies

Parker Land Surveying, LLC                     Survey on building site – Summers Corner

Geotechnical (Terracon)                          Geotech Report (soil borings & analysis)

Civil (Cypress Engineering)                      Civil Schematic Design (SD)

Building Site/Land Loan Paid-off            Surge & Stretch 2020 Goal completed March 2021


Project Milestones (2021)                      In-Progress or To Be Completed/Delivered

Utility Access & Availability                     On-going negotiations with Lennar (Developer)

Operating Budget Freeze 2021              Cut expenses and build margin in Operating Acct.

Surge & Stretch Challenge 2021*          Capital Campaign for funding building expenses

Exterior Renderings (ES)                          Building exterior architectural design & drawings

Civil (Cypress Engineering)                      Construction Documents & Permitting

Equip Studio (Architectural SD)              Begin Architectural SD & Construction Plans/Docs

Construction Budget (Final)                    Pricing and construction budget approved

Building Project Financing                       Arrange for construction loan to begin land prep.

in 2022 with vertical construction in 2022/2023

*Surge & Stretch Challenge 2021 goal is to raise 200K for the following:  1) continue Civil Engineering work started in 2020  2) provide funds for the production of Construction Plans/Docs by Equip Studio and 3) provide working capital for additional building related expenses as required i.e. exterior renderings, additional survey and/or geotechnical work.

Financial Report.  I also wanted to give everyone a quick report on how things are shaping-up in May with regards to giving.  We still have a week to go, but it looks like it’s going to be a very good month!  Contributions below are as of May 24th:

$1,781.12 Building Fund + $52,511.71 General Fund = $54,292.83 TOTAL

Also, stay tuned for Family Meeting – Part 2 in late June with ALL the latest exciting details of the building project.  Family Meeting – Part 2 will be a LIVE (virtual) and in-person event with plenty of time for Q & A.  You will NOT want to miss this!!!

If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Fund, you can do so here.

Derrick Horres, AR Building Project Leader    

Building Update

May 11

Building Update 049 – Family Meeting and Financial Review

              May 11                Building Update 049   

     “Family Meeting & Financial Review”

Family Meeting.  If you haven’t heard already, I want to make sure you know the time and date for the next Family Meeting on May 23rd at 6 pm.  Please put this important event on your calendar!  The meeting will be in-person at Ashley Ridge High School (Lobby) and be carried LIVE on the AR app and YouTube channel.  You will be able to ask questions in-person or virtually!

Also, for the past two months, church leadership has been in discussions and negotiations with Lennar on ways to mitigate the high cost of developing the AR property on Summers Drive, specifically increased costs for land preparation and bringing utilities to the site.  The results of these meetings with Lennar which we should know very soon will be covered in detail at the Family Meeting.  Furthermore, I want to give you a quick Financial Review of the building project to date.

Financial Review.  Since the start of the Surge & Stretch Challenge last year, the Building Surge/Fund has generated $216,259 in contributions as of 4/30/2021.  These funds along with Margin created in the Operating Account from the Operating  Budget “Freeze” at the beginning 2020 and cost savings from the pandemic and subsequent shutdown is what allowed AR to pay-off the 280K land loan balance and establish a 100K Reserve Fund.

In addition to paying off the land and establishing a Reserve Fund, AR has paid $54,690 in building related expenses to the following:  1) Parker Land Surveying, LLC  2) Equip Studio  3) Terracon Consulting and 4) Cypress Engineering

With the above, all the 2020 building and financial goals have been completed or met, and we are ready to move into the next phase of the building process. We will have more on this and all the latest building project news at the Family Meeting on May 23rd!

If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Fund, you can do so here.

Derrick Horres, AR Building Project Leader    

Building Update

April 16

Building Update 048 – Financials and Financing

           April 16               Building Update 048   

                  “Financials & Financing”

As AR continues to navigate its way through a complicated and challenging building process, there have been no shortages of tough nuts to crack!  Many of the obstacles in constructing a new Ashley Ridge Church facility have to do with financials and/or financing.   So, I wanted to jump on and give you a quick report.

FinancialsWith respect to financials, I received April’s MTD giving numbers from our Finance Team Leader as of the 15th:

$1,785.56 Building Fund + $31,302.54 General Fund = $33,088.10 TOTAL

The AR congregation continues to find ways to give generously to the Building Fund and General Fund.  This continued generosity has allowed the accomplishment of all 2020 building project goals and more.  Soon, we will be coming out with a new set of project goals for 2021 and our plan for achieving them.  This will enable AR to take the next steps in the building process.  We are getting closer and closer to putting that shovel in the ground!

Financing.   One of the most difficult and important challenges in the building process, is securing financing for the cost of construction.  Of course, we will only finance through a lending institution what we cannot raise internally.

There has been progress on the financing front in that our Finance Team has secured a Letter of Commitment for purchasing the additional 10 acre tract of land if AR decides to exercise its option, and have also had a very positive conversation with a local bank on a possible bridge loan.

While AR has not secured funds for the construction loan itself, a bridge loan would allow the building process to move forward while work continues on putting the construction loan and permanent financing piece in place.  I should have a lot more to report in my next update so stay tuned!

If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Fund, you can do so here.

Derrick Horres, AR Building Project Leader    

Building Update

April 13

Building Update 047 – Parcel and Utility Exhibit A

          April 13                Building Update 047   


Church Leadership continues to investigate the feasibility of exercising the option on the additional 10 acre tract of land in Summers Corner.  Just two weeks ago, Garrett Reuber, AR Finance Team Leader secured a Commitment Letter from the bank for funds to purchase the property if Ashley Ridge Church decides to move in that direction.

Having financing in place is one of the keys to being able to exercise the option before the expiration date of July 1, 2021.  The property will also need to be appraised, and due to regulatory requirements the bank will need to order the appraisal and choose the appraiser.  A new survey (plat) may be needed as well.

As I wrote about in my last Building Update (046), the additional 10 acres of land could be important to Ashley Ridge Church for several reasons, but in this update, I would like to focus on just two:

  • Utility Access-in the “PARCEL AND UTILITY EXHIBIT A” below, which is from the Bowman Consulting Report completed in 2017, it shows (in pink) how utility access/service (water & sewer) was envisioned for the new AR facility.  The attachment has a DCWA water main coming 1,600 LF down Summers Dive and sewer line going through the additional 10 acre site connecting on to a DCWS force main located to the rear of the property.
  • Financial Asset-with the rapid population growth of the greater Charleston area, affordable housing is becoming harder to find. This is leading to competition in the housing market and escalating property values.  From January 2021, a few statistics from lists the median home price in Summerville, SC at $284.9K trending up 14% year-over-year. The website REDFIN.COM has in March 2021, Summerville home prices up 19.2% compared to last year, selling for a median price of $310K.

If purchased, one possible use of the additional 10 acre tract would be to sell the property at some point in the future to help fund the construction of the new facility.  Pastor Jenn is working-on scheduling another Family Meeting soon to discuss all the variables involved in the decision making process.

If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Fund, you can do so here.

Derrick Horres, AR Building Project Leader

Building Update

March 26

Building Update 046 – A Second Look

             March 26                Building Update 046   

                 “Taking a Second Look”

As most of you know, Ashley Ridge Church has an option on an additional 10 acre tract of land located behind and contiguous to the original 10 acre tract on Summers Drive purchased back in 2017.  The option expires July 1, 2021, and before the option period expires, church leadership (leadership team, building team, finance team) is “taking a second look” to determine if it would be prudent for Ashley Ridge Church to exercise the option to purchase.

Like any major financial decision we make, personally or collectively as a church, there are several considerations. I have outlined the considerations in this decision below:

  • The pandemic has created a boom in real estate values in the greater Charleston market due to an increased influx of people moving to the area. The additional 10 acre tract could be a very valuable financial asset worth far more than the option purchase price of 60K an acre set back in 2017.
  • The sewer access point that AR needs to connect to is located through the additional 10 acre tract behind the property, so if AR does not exercise the option or if we do not receive a utility easement from Lennar, the church could have no affordable way to receive DCWS sewer service.
  • To make the Phase 1 and Masterplan fit on the original 10 acre site, compromises had to be made with parking. The original Masterplan had a total of 530 parking spaces but had to be reduced to 339 due to Dorchester County zoning and building requirements not allowing parking forward of the main building.  According to Alisha Coleman, our Project Manager with Equip Studio, this “will meet code but will likely feel tight, especially in a multi-service scenario.”
  • Even though AR may not need the additional 10 acres to develop the Phase 1 and Masterplan as currently designed, things could change, and the additional 10 acres could be a valuable asset for the church in terms of future growth.
  • At 60K an acre the additional 10 acres would cost 600K and would be a significant financial expense for the church which would have to be at least partly financed by a bank or other financial institution. It should be noted AR does have 50K in escrow which was used to secure the option back in 2017.  This could be put toward the purchase of the property, or in the case of not exercising the option, refunded to the church.
  • The purchase of the additional 10 acres could delay the building process as some existing church funds and future funds would be required for the down payment, due diligence and subsequent debt service.
  • The real estate market can be volatile at times of economic uncertainty which could make the property value of the additional 10 acre tract fluctuate.

Pastor Jenn will be scheduling a Family Meeting soon to discuss all the latest information and details concerning the land option and building project, so please stay tuned!

If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund and/or Building Fund, you can do so here.

Derrick Horres, AR Building Project Leader

Building Update

March 16

Building Update 045 – “Land Pay-Off & Financial Report”

            March 16                Building Update 045   

      “Land Pay-Off & Financial Report”

Land Pay-Off.  As most of you may already know, the 10-acre tract of land in Summers Corner was completely paid-off on March 1st.  This was accomplished by a flurry of donations and matches coming-in from the Burn the Note “Hot Wings” Challenge.  Garrett Reuber calls this unique “Hot Wings” fundraising event, “Ashley Ridge Church’s version of a “Bake Sale!”  Whatever you call it, it worked, getting us over the finish line!  Can you yell, “WE’RE DEBT FREEEEE????”

Paying-off a 280K loan balance in a little over 11 months is no small feat in the midst of a pandemic and shut-down as this is an average of applying over 23K a month to the land loan principle each and every month for the past year.  Way to go Ashley Ridge Church!!!  SO, I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank all those who have supported the General Fund & Building Surge/Fund with your generous contributions!

It was your dedication and commitment which led to this major milestone and achievement.  You are making a real difference in this church and the Summerville community!  THANK YOU!!!

Financial Report.  February was a difficult month as we had to alter in-person worship service due to weather conditions, plus it was a short month, but we were still able to rack-up solid numbers.  Finalized giving for February was as follows:

$8,555.60 Building Fund + $41,083.00 General Fund = $49,638.60 TOTAL

March giving has started off with a BANG! with matches and donations coming-in on the Burn the Note “Hot Wings” Challenge as well as increased General Fund contributions.  Totals for the month (as of March 15th) are below:

$4,381.97 Building Fund + $53,187.07 General Fund = $57,569.04 TOTAL

Stay tuned for all the latest building project information and the date for next Family Meeting coming soon!  If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund and/or Building Fund, you can do so here.

Derrick Horres, AR Building Project Leader

Building Update

February 19

Building Update 044 – Countdown: to FIRE!

        February 19               Building Update 044   

               “Countdown: to FIRE!”

Just when you thought the competition between Ashley Ridge Church and the Summers Corner Land Loan couldn’t get any hotter, along comes the Burn the Note Hot Wings Challenge issued during last week’s Live Lobby!  Garrett Reuber read the formal contract live and on air (from an “anonymous” challenger) explaining the rules and conditions of the fiery showdown.

If you watched the Live Lobby, you already know exactly what I’m talking about.  If you didn’t, you owe it to yourself to go back and take a look and get all the exciting details as the gauntlet has definitely been thrown down and the contestants have been selected.  The Countdown: to FIRE has begun!

The basic premise is this:  the Burn the Note Challenge is going to be a “Hot Wings” eating exercise in culinary discomfort and/or pain depending upon the tolerance to HEAT!!! i.e. different levels of HOT!!! sauces of the individual contestants. If the contestants survive, I mean “succeed,”  (haha) then we have a handful of people ready to match up to $7,000 in money given in the month of February to the building fund. As a reminder, our goal is to raise the remaining $20,043.28 to pay-off the land loan by the end of February 2021. So, if we all give together and get to at least $7,000, there is an additional $7,000 coming in matched funds for a total of $14,000 – can you see how close we are?!?!

The exact time and place of the Burn the Note Hot Wings Challenge are still being worked out.  SO, stay tuned to the Live Lobby with Garrett and Jenn, Sunday mornings at 9:30am where you can receive all the late breaking news and details of this novel AR event! Jenn has said it before, and it is certainly true, “Ain’t no party like an Ashley Ridge party!”

We’re in this together, and we’re having some fun along the way. We want YOU to be part of the great story God is writing in our church and in our community!

If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Fund, you can do so here.

Derrick Horres, AR Building Project Leader

Building Update

February 12

Building Update 043 – Financial Report and Project Update

            February 12               Building Update 043   

      “Financial Report & Project Update”

A LOT has been happening on the building front the past couple of weeks, and I am anxious to tell you about it!  But first, let’s get a quick “Financial Report.”

Financial Report.  2020 was a banner Giving year for Ashley Ridge Church as you may have already heard with contributions topping 812K, but did you know 2021 has started off even better?  Giving last month was up approximately 16K over January 2020!  Last month’s contributions were as follows:

$14,792.27 Building Fund + $46,933.33 General Fund = $61,725.60 TOTAL

This is the 7th consecutive month Giving has exceeded 60K in a month, with 10 out of the last 13 hitting the mark.  Way to go Ashley Ridge Church!  Your dedication and generosity continues to amaze!  THANK YOU!!!

Also, with regards to paying-off the land in Summers Corner, we are now only $20,388.81 away from making this a reality!  Our goal is to be “debt free” by the end of February.  WE CAN DO IT ASHLEY RIDGE CHURCH – TOGETHER!!!

Project Update.  So much has happened recently it will be difficult to summarize without getting “down in the weeds,” but I will do my best to give you the important information in a “broad brush.”  In BU 038 entitled “Hard Costs & Decision Points,” I talked about the next important step in the process being pricing coming from Trident Construction (GC) and their subcontractors.

Well, I have some good news and some bad news with regards to Hard Costs.  First, the bad news, we received estimates for the Site Work on Friday, February 5th.  Based on the Civil Schematic Design (SD) completed by Cypress Engineering, the land in Summers Corner is going to need 31,327 cubic yards of fill (dirt) to bring the site (building pad and parking lot) up to required elevation at an additional cost of:  31,327 cubic yards x $18.95 per yard = $593,646.65

Also, included in the pricing was the cost of bringing utilities (water & sewer service) to the property/building of $466,000.00.  These two items alone have added an additional 1MIL+ expense to the Site Work which now stands at 2.3MILThis figure includes all Site Work i.e. fill, utilities, asphalt, paving, sidewalks, etc.   

The fill (dirt) requirements are being driven by the fact the floor elevation of the new facility has to be 2 feet above the 100 Year Flood Stage or 17 feet and the parking lot has to have a final elevation of 15 feet.  The survey work performed by Parker Land Surveying, LLC showed the AR property in Summers Corner is currently a mixture of 12 and 13 feet in elevation which means 31,327 cubic yards of fill (dirt) are needed to elevate and balance all subgrades and pads.

As far as bringing utilities to the property, water has to travel 1900ft down Summers Drive.  When the property was purchased in 2017, it was hoped water and sewer service would have made it down Summers Drive by now but that has not been the case.  While Dorchester County Water & Sewer (DCWS) has given permission for the church to connect to their force main located behind the property, the run is still 800ft requiring a utility easement and lift pump station.

The good news is we are in negotiations with the developer (Lennar) over ways to mitigate these costs.  The next 30 days are going to be pivotal for the building project as we are coming-up on key Decision Points in the process.

The Executive Team is working very hard (leaving no stone unturned) to ensure the new AR facility is the best it can be at the most affordable cost.  Please be in prayer that doors continue to open for Ashley Ridge Church and the building project!

If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund and/or Building Fund, you can do so here.

Derrick Horres, AR Building Project Leader

NOTE:  estimated fill (dirt) requirements and utilities service costs by Celek & Celek Construction, Inc. proposal of 2/5/2021

Building Update

February 5

Building Update 042 – Barnburner

        February 5                 Building Update 042   

                “Barnburner, Folks!”

If you think Super Bowl LV is going to be thrilling on Sunday, we have our own “Barnburner” right here in Summerville, SC!  The exciting, riveting competition is between Ashley Ridge Church and the Summers Corner Land Loan.  This intense rivalry has been heating up over the past year and has recently reached a fever pitch.  Momentum has swung back and forth over the years with Ashley Ridge seizing the initiative in the fourth quarter with a couple big plays for huge chunks of yardage (see BU 039 entitled “1st and Goal”).

Here are the stats as of Thursday, February 4th.  Ashley Ridge Church has a current balance in its Building Fund of $1,346.47 which can be sent against the Summers Corner Land Loan defense with a current principle balance of $22,530.71.  Once these offensive funds are applied to the loan, AR will be only


 away from a big score and subsequent pay-off!  Are you ready to seal the deal with a BIG “W” for Ashley Ridge Church?

Also, if you were listening to the LIVE LOBBY pregame on Sunday, you heard Coach Jenn, speaking with AR Offensive Coordinator Reuber.  Coach Jenn addressed the really anticipated questions on everyone’s mind of just how the church should celebrate the big win and how the mortgage on the Summers Corner Land would be retired i.e. filed, shredded, cut-up or burned?

Coach Jenn emphatically replied she wanted to see “fire” in reference to Burning the Mortgage.  Coach Reuber seized on the historical significance of the moment and responded with his own version of:  “FIRE! FIRE!”  (In reference to the scene in the movie, Castaway, where Tom Hanks creates fire for the first time after many, many laborious attempts without the use of artificial means)

Well, there you have it Folks! with all the latest scoop and stats from the big game.  The stage is set for what appears to be a down to the wire finish in February!  Stay tuned for further weekly updates you just do not want to miss!

If you would like to help the AR team get a BIG “W” by making a contribution to the General Fund or Building Fund, you can do so here.

Derrick Horres, AR Building Project Leader & Sports Writer

Building Update

February 2

Building Update 041 – “Honk, if you love Jesus!”

        February 2                 Building Update 041   

            “Honk, If You Love Jesus!”

I remember growing up in the sixties and seventies and one particular bumper sticker of the era which said “Honk, if you love Jesus!”  To tell you the truth, I thought it was a little over the top back then, but little did I know, I would be writing about this same bumper sticker decades later.  Some of you may remember it?  And, you may also be asking yourself what does a bumper sticker from the sixties and seventies have to do with the For SVL Building Project.  Well, actually quite a bit. Let me explain.

If you were one of the many that attended the in-person, in-car worship experience this past Sunday at the high school, you saw firsthand what makes Ashley Ridge Church sooooo special!  In the midst of a global pandemic which remains unabated even with multiple vaccines, gusty winds/threats of rain and locked-out of the only inside worship space the church has ever known for almost a year, Pastor Jenn and  Staff found an amazing new way for the congregation to safely worship T-O-G-E-T-H-E-R (in-person).  They did this by calling an audible and executing the:  Global Pandemic Inclement Weather & Interactive Worship Contingency Plan.

I am not trying to make light of a very serious world situation that has caused so much suffering and grief.  On the contrary, my attempt is to showcase the lengths to which our church staff, church leadership and congregation are willing to go to worship T-O-G-E-T-H-E-R in-person on Sunday mornings and maintain some semblance of normalcy during a very uncertain, chaotic and challenging time.

We do this for our children who have seen their lives turned upside down over the past year with school, no school, school (repeat); we do this for those in need of hearing a few words of hope and encouragement – first hand.   And, we do this for all those in desperate need of a smiling face, friendly gesture or personal interaction.

Interaction came when Pastor Jenn asked several responsive questions during her message from the AR “congregation on wheels” with answers coming in the form of honking the horn.  Needless to say there was A LOT of congregational horn honking Sunday, so much so, between leaving the ignition switch on for the radio and my honking of the horn, I ran my battery down.  BTW thanks to James and Mike Greer for the jump:

“In other words, Ashley Ridge Church had a contingency plan for us to gather T-O-G-E-T-H-E-R and worship safely under the most challenging of situations”

This was successful because the church staff had the foresight to invest in an FM transmitter which can broadcast a local FM signal to your car radio.  Communion interaction was accomplished with the aid of self-contained, portable communion kits handed through your car window.

Then, there was the interaction from the hand-outs for all our arLittles and arKids.  So many adults, little people, students (and automobiles) attended Sunday worship, we actually ran out of some of the hand-out materials.  The arStudents were able to have their regular interaction time under the protective cover of the entryway.  All I can say is, Wow!!!  If that is not resilience (spiritual muscle), I don’t know what is!

AND, it is this same resiliency which will see the For SVL Building Project through to completion to matter how long the road or difficult the task!

To wrap this up, you may not see the saying, “Honk, if you love Jesus” anymore on a bumper sticker, but nevertheless, it is alive and well (literally) at Ashley Ridge Church!

Derrick Horres, AR Building Project Leader

Building Update

January 28

Building Update 040 – Huddle Up

       January 28                  Building Update 040   

                       “Huddle up”

Ok, AR team, I’m back with you for another exciting play-by-play (building update) on the pay-off of that pesky Summers Corner land loan.  But, before the next play call, let’s “Huddle up” for some motivational words and inspirational verse.  You know things are about to get serious when someone either quotes Abraham Lincoln or the Book of Romans.

I’m going to give it to you straight!  We, Ashley Ridge Church, are in the contest of our lives with the For SVL Building Project.  The emotional adversaries of anxiety, discouragement and despair would like nothing better than to take us down and make us quit.  Are we going to give-in, knuckle under or fold when the going gets tough?  HECK NO!!!

The next obstacle we face is raising the last 24K in funds to pay-off the land loan in February. We’re so close! Are we going to let this “brick wall” and others down field stand in our way of having a new Ashley Ridge Church facility for our kids, our students, adults and community?  DOUBLE HECK NO!!!

We will NOT stop in our quest to secure a permanent facility for Ashley Ridge Church no matter how long the road or difficult the task!  AND, by doing so, secure a future for ALL those that need GOD in the Summerville community (and beyond) for generations to come!

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.                                                                    -Romans 8:38-39

OK, AR team!  Let’s get out there and play some ball!  BREAK!!!

If you would like to see the AR team score a “HUGE” victory by making a contribution to the General Fund or Building Fund, you can do so here.

Derrick Horres, AR Building Project Quarterback

Building Update

January 25

Building Update 039 – Monday Morning Quarterback

       January 25                  Building Update 039   

                    “1st and Goal”

It’s game day, and we’re “1st and Goal” on the 5 yard line!  Let me explain AR sports fans!  The pay-off on the land loan is down to a measly $24,268.81 which represents just 5% of the 450K paid for the property back in 2017.  That means we have marched 95% or 95 yards down the field and are in the “red zone” poised for a “BIG” score in late February.

Thanks to your generous contributions to the Building Fund and General Fund, we were able to go on an offensive tear with paying down the land loan these last tense but exciting quarters.  There were two “BIG” plays for “BIG” gains which made this all happen:

First, there was “the Surge” draw play up the middle called several times by Coach Jenn and each time executed for “BIG” yardage thereby reducing the principal balance by as much as 30-40K at a clip.  Way to go Coach Jenn!

Then, there was “the Reserve Fund” end around (audible) where 50K was used with effectiveness against the stubborn land loan defense in a onetime brutal (but clean) hit on the principal balance knocking it down to the current level.  Dick Butkus would be proud!  This novel play was developed and inspired by our experienced Offensive Coordinator, Assistant Coach Reuber, who also serves as the Finance Team Leader.   Great call Coach Reuber!

But, we can’t get over confident because you know the opposing side is going to put up a stiff defense over the next few weeks with their backs to the financial goalpost.  SO, Ashley Ridge team, let’s get that pigskin over the goal line this time, make that “BIG” score and “win one for the Gipper!”

We can do it – TOGETHER!!!

If you would like to help the AR team get the ball in the end zone by making a contribution to the General Fund or Building Fund, you can do so here.

Derrick Horres, AR Sports Writer

Building Update

January 22

Building Update 038 – Hard Costs and Decision Points

       January 22                  Building Update 038   

       “Hard Costs & Decision Points”

Cypress Engineering delivered the Civil Schematic Design (SD) set last Friday, January 15th on schedule.  Since then, our in-house civil engineer, Matt Halter, has reviewed the documents and recommended a few technical changes.  Those changes have been made by Cypress and the revised Civil SD set has already been received by Ashley Ridge Church and Trident Construction (GC).

Trident Construction has the “next step” in the building process (and it is a very important one) whereby Trident’s Project Manager, Matt Robbins, will be nailing down the Hard Costs with estimates from their subcontractors.  Trident is shooting to have pricing complete and forwarded to us by Friday, February 5th.

Once pricing is complete, we will have the Hard Costs which includes numbers on land preparation and vertical construction, and the Soft Costs which include other building related expenses such as architectural fees, Audio, Visual & Lighting (AVL), furnishings, landscaping and signage.  Added together these Hard and Soft Costs will determine the total price tag for the new facility and the subsequent project budget.

The whole process so far has led us to points where some very far-reaching decisions will need to be made over the next couple of months.  Based on how much we can expect to raise internally through fundraising efforts over the next 18-24 months and how much we can finance through a bank or other financial institution, the future course of the project will be determined.

Please be in prayer for these “Decision Points” over the next 30 to 60 days and for the building project in general that doors continue to open for Ashley Ridge Church as we work through the next critical steps in the process.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”                                                                                                -Isaiah 41:10

If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Fund, you can do so here.

Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

January 5

Building Update 037 – Family Meeting Follow-up and Revised Plans

          January 5                   Building Update 037   

   “Family Meeting Follow-up & Revised Plans

If you attended the LIVE Family Meeting (virtual) Sunday night, you saw Pastor Jenn review 2020 and lay out the plans and goals for Ashley Ridge Church in 2021.  She also gave an exciting update on the FOR SVL Building Project with an extensive Q & A session afterwards where she and James addressed a plethora of excellent site plan and building related questions.

I want to take a moment to follow-up and expound on the redesigned Site Plan (facility exterior) presented at the Family Meeting, but before I do, a quick report on December’s amazing giving numbers:

General Fund                      $53,819.45

Christmas Offering              $28,170.04

Building Surge                     $10,823.64

TOTAL                                 $92,813.13

Giving in December was just phenomenal and provided much needed margin in the Operating Account and Building Surge/Fund to continue the building effort on multiple levels:  1) paying down the land loan to 75K 2) providing funds for initial civil engineering costs (specifically 19K for Schematic Design) and 3) smashing the old annual giving record by approximately 80K thereby improving the church balance sheet in preparation for seeking a construction loan later in the year.

Follow-up.   One particular point of interest on the revised Phase 1 Site Plan and Masterplan which I want to make sure came across during the Family Meeting was the amount of thought and effort going into the exterior redesign.  Like the “Expanding the Table” Food Truck, outdoor worship and activities have become an integral part of Ashley Ridge Church’s DNA during the pandemic.  To that end, Equip Studio has gone to great lengths to redesign the outdoor space i.e. amphitheatre, front and rear green space, front plaza, Food Truck Pavilion and arLittles/arKids play areas to be a cohesive, flexible, functional and aesthetic worship and event capable experience.

Also, the use of retaining walls to create moderate changes in elevation on the site will make for a different and unique (for the area) visual for cars passing along Summers Drive.  The retaining walls were originally added to reduce fill (dirt) requirements and lower land preparation costs which may still be the case.

The uses of the redesigned facility exterior are numerous only limited by the imagination.  The new design could also offer additional opportunities for the church to receive rental income from events such as community and school programs, weddings, etc.

Plans  The revised Site Plan for Phase 1 and the Masterplan, presented during the Family Meeting, are below.

If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Surge, you can do so here.


Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

December 31

Building Update 036 – Family Meeting Preview

     December 31               Building Update 036   

          “Family Meeting Preview”

As Pastor Jenn mentioned in last Sunday’s Live Lobby, there will be an important Family Meeting (virtual) this Sunday, January 3rd at 8:00 pm.  During the meeting, Pastor Jenn will lay out plans and goals for Ashley Ridge Church in 2021 and give the congregation a comprehensive update on the FOR SVL Building Project.  But first, let’s review the MTD giving numbers for December 1-30th:

General Fund                      $43,710.98

Christmas Offering              $22,273.75

Building Surge                       $5,698.86

TOTAL                                  $71,683.59

In the midst of the holiday season, the building project continues to march on with determined efforts centering on Cypress Engineering completing the Schematic Design and Equip Studio flushing out the redesign made necessary by Dorchester County Zoning ordinances and regulations.  Pastor Jenn will have a revised site plan that will look different than the one presented back in August for you to view and discuss during the Family Meeting.  You just don’t want to miss this next exciting glimpse and evolution into the future home of Ashley Ridge Church!

The Schematic Design* which is scheduled for completion in mid January consists of three main and distinct parts:  1) the finalized Site Plan, Phase 1 and Masterplan 2) the Grading Plan and 3) the Utility Plan

*Schematic Design efforts also includes water main (extended 1,600 LF off-site), sewer lift station (650 LF forcemain to connect to existing off-site forcemain), storm drainage piping and detention design as well as erosion control and landscape architecture (Code minimum for buffers, tree islands and foundation plantings).

In addition to ongoing civil engineering work, the geotechnical investigations (soil borings) and subsequent GeoReport by Terracon was completed and submitted to Trident Construction and the church for review.  A Design & Construction Team meeting was held at the church office on December 16th to go over the results of the GeoReport and redesign.

Thomas Smoak from Terracon attended the meeting via zoom and summarized the GeoReport and findings in an Executive Summary.  While much of the report is extremely technical and detailed in nature, I can speak to the main point of interest to the church which would have the greatest impact on the project timeline and budget: that point being, “the quality and suitability of the excavated soil from the property (specifically the future retention pond) to be used as fill (dirt) for other locations on the property to bring the construction site up to required elevation and grade i.e. parking lot(s) and building pad(s)”

Thomas Smoak conveyed during the meeting, while the soil on the property is not ideal or optimal, like soil consisting of sandy lean clay and clayey sand has been successfully treated chemically with cement or lime and used for building projects in the area.  While the cost to chemically treat the soil is TBD (To Be Determined), this is a significant development which could have a very positive impact on the building project and budget.

After the Schematic Design is completed in January, the civil engineering documents along with the GeoReport will be utilized by Trident Construction (GC) to determine their cost for the project.  This is critical information to finalizing the project budget and should be available to the church by early to mid February.

Don’t miss the Online Family Meeting this Sunday at 8pm, and feel free to reach out with questions along the way!

If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Surge, you can do so here.

Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

December 22

Building Update 035 – A Look Forward

     December 22               Building Update 035   

                  “A Look Forward”

As we say farewell to 2020, I think it is only appropriate that we take “A Look Forward” into 2021 to see what opportunities await us on the building front.  But first, let’s take a sneak peek at the giving numbers for December 1-21st:

General Fund                      $34,854.09

Christmas Offering              $11,153.59

Building Surge                       $2,463.46

TOTAL                                  $48,471.14

While 2020 was all about developing “the plan,” laying the financial foundation and creating the design for the building and grounds, 2021 will be more about moving forward with the goal of putting “a shovel in the ground” before the end of next year.  To do this, we will need to accomplish the following four main tasks:

  • Finish paying for the land in Summers Corner which currently has a principal balance of approximately 95K
  • Complete the civil engineering work which began with the Schematic Design by Cypress Engineering in September
  • Raise funds to a) cover the cost of the civil engineering work and b) cover building related expenses not financed with the construction loan
  • Secure a construction loan from a bank or other lending institution which rolls into permanent financing once the new facility is completed

While these tasks will be challenging and have many, many sub tasks, they can be accomplished.  I have seen door after door open this past year which has allowed the building project to move forward in the face of incredible odds.  God has “showed up” for Ashley Ridge Church again and again in 2020, and I believe He will continue to enable us to move forward in 2021 and beyond!

I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you how thankful I am for the support you have given me this year as the FOR SVL Building Project Leader.  I TRULY BELIEVE THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN’T ACCOMPLISH – TOGETHER!  THANK YOU AND MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!!

If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Surge, you can do so here.

Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

December 11

Building Update 034 – The Big Picture

     December 11               Building Update 034   

                   “The Big Picture”

There’s A LOT happening on the building front these days, so I want to give you “TheBig Picture” of where we are currently with regards to the project.  But first, let’s take a quick look at the finalized giving numbers for November:

Regular Giving          $46,556.02

Building Surge          $15,106.38

TOTAL                        $61,662.40

 Financial.  As of the end of November, the pay-off on the land loan is down to 97K!  Considering the principal balance was over 310Kin December 2019, this is a very remarkable achievement!  With regards to Surge & Stretch Challenge goals set for 2020, we have been successful with the below:

1)  establishing a Reserve/Contingency Fund of 100K+

2)  paying all EquipLabs fees and survey costs as specified in the Financing Plan

3)  generating over 60K in total giving 8 out of the 11 months so far this year which has enabled AR to reduce the land loan principal by 180K+since the beginning of the Surge & Stretch Challenge back in March

Civil Engineering.  The Executive Team authorized Cypress Engineering to perform the Schematic Design in September.  Since then, Will Rogan with Cypress have met with Dorchester County Zoning and Dorchester County Water & Sewer (DCWS).  The discussions from these meetings have led to a revision by Equip Studio of the original Phase 1 Site Plan and Masterplan. The changes are being driven by zoning requirements and water & sewer access and include but are not limited to the following:

1)  main building has moved closer to Summers Drive and rotated 90 degrees clockwise as parking and outbuildings are not allowed forward of the main building

2)  road access and entrance has shifted to the left side of the property

3)  retaining pond has been enlarged and starts at the front and extends along the right property line all the way to the back

4)  due to flood elevation and building requirements, retaining walls have been strategically placed in the design which should reduce fill dirt requirements and thereby land preparation costs

5)  even though a drop-off circle is allowed forward of the main building by zoning, the changes have made it necessary to move the drop-off circle to the left of the main building

6)  food truck pavilion has moved to the left of the main building near the left property line

7) a plaza has been added in front of the main entrance between the drop-off circle and food truck pavilion

NOTE:  while the site plan has changed significantly the floor plan conceived during the Equip Labs back in August remains unchanged

Geotechnical.  We received the completed Geotechnical Report by Terracon via Trident Construction on Friday, December 4th; however, we have yet to have the opportunity to meet with our Civil Engineers, Will Rogan and Matt Halter.  We hope to schedule a meeting next week at the Church Office to review the report.

Utilities.  Our “in-house” Civil Engineer, Matt Halter, has met with the Lennar Land Development Manager concerning bringing utilities to the property. Discussions regarding utilities and drainage easements along with the possibly of cost sharing in extending nearby water and sewer lines are ongoing.

Summary.  While the construction of the new facility in Summers Corner has many significant challenges still associated with it, we are working hard to overcome the obstacles and mitigate the issues which mainly manifest themselves with an increased cost to the project.  This is why your continued support and financial gifts are so important to this effort!

If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Surgeyou can do so here.

Derrick Horres, Project Leader






Building Update

December 2

Building Update 033 – “Big Stuf”

     December 2               Building Update 033   

           Special Edition: “Big Stuf”

There is big stuff and then there is “Big Stuf!”  I would consider the building project to be big stuff and very important if not critical to the future of Ashley Ridge Church, but it is NOT the “Big Stuf” I want to talk about today in this Special Edition, Building Update.

The “Big Stuf” I want to talk to you about today is the student camp happening this summer in Florida which needs our support. I believe one of the most Capital investments a church can make is in its young people whether that be the little ones or the young adults.  They are the future and the future leadership of the church!

I was raised United Methodist, which meant the church camps I attended each summer were located at Columbia College, Columbia, SC.  They were some of the first experiences I had as a teenager being “away” from home and on my “own.”

They were wonderful experiences filled with making friends, worship and music!

It is also where I received Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior in 1974.  This one particular church camp 46 years ago, and this one particular prayer (that probably lasted no more than 30 seconds) has shaped my entire adult life and led me on an incredible spiritual journey to the doors of Ashley Ridge Church.

SO, I hope you can see why I am so grateful for the opportunities I had as a young adult to attend church camp, and why I think it’s such “Big Stuf” for our arStudents to be able to attend. Yesterday we focused our Giving Tuesday efforts on raising funds to help send our students and leaders to camp in 2021, including transportation, scholarships, and more. Even though Giving Tuesday has passed, any time you give to Ashley Ridge Church, you help support critical ministries like these. Thank you for giving!

If you would like to make a contribution to arStudents and the “Big Stuf” Student Camp this summeryou can do so here.

Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

November 20

Building Update 032 – Thanksgiving and Thankfulness

     November 20               Building Update 032

     “Thanksgiving & Thankfulness”

As I sit here at my desk writing this building update, I am thinking how thankful (and fortunate) I am for all the many blessings I have received this year. But, first I want to give you the latest financial information as of November 19th:

Regular Giving MTD          $28,004.30

Building SurgeMTD             $14,113.54

TOTAL                                   $42,117.84

 The Building Surge YTD has generated $171,756.05. The Surge contributions have put us under $100k in our efforts to finish paying for the land loan.  That is very good news and a major achievement! Thank you so much for your continued support!

Even though Thanksgiving is not until next week, I wanted to start early on all I have to be thankful for this year.  So, I wanted to share my list with you as many blessings have to do with Ashley Ridge Church and the FOR SVL Building Project:

  1. I am thankful for my wife Pam and our little 6 lbs. maltese Pollyanna
  2. I am thankful for my employment which allows me to take care of my family and give generously to Ashley Ridge Church
  3. I am thankful to be the Project Leader, FOR SVL Building Project
  4. I am thankful for Pastor Jenn and her amazing leadership and guidance
  5. I am thankful for James Galloway and the band which provides such wonderful music for our services
  6. I am thankful we have a place to worship outside at Ashley Ridge High School in the midst of the pandemic
  7. I am thankful for the Church Staff, volunteers and congregation
  8. I am thankful for “Hearts For Summerville”and all the outstanding work and support it gives to families in need
  9. I am thankful for the generosity of our congregation with respect to the giving of their time, talent and financial resources in support of the building project and General Fund
  10. I am thankful for my health which allows me to continue to do things I feel are important and make a difference – Thanks be to God!

If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Surgeyou can do so here.

Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

November 6

Building Update 031 – 40-Day Push Wrap-Up

     November 6               Building Update 031

          “40-Day Push – Wrap-up”

The 40-Day Push to Burn the Note has come to an end, and I wanted to give you the latest MTD giving numbers as of the end of October:

Regular Giving          $42,358.49

Building Surge          $24,476.48

TOTAL                        $66,834.97

Even though we were not able to burn the note on October 25th, we moved the needle on the land loan (pay-off) which is now down to 106K! We can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it is getting brighter and brighter with your unwavering and generous financial support!  Thank you!!!

Consistency, flexibility, and perseverance are the three traits I have seen not only exhibited during the 40-Day Push to Burn the Note but over and over again with regards to the people who make-up Ashley Ridge Church.

Consistency “agreement or harmony of parts or features to one another or a whole”   -Merriam-Webster

Flexibility “characterized by a ready capability to adapt to new, different, or changing requirements”  -Merriam-Webster

Perseverance “quality of continuing with something even though it is difficult” -Collins Dictionary

I believe these three traits will move us forward in navigating the uncertain times in which we find ourselves while continuing to thrive.  And, it is these three traits that will allow us to be successful in constructing a new facility FOR the Summerville community.

If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Surgeyou can do so here.


Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

October 23

Building Update 030 – Legos and Land Loan

    October 23               Building Update 030

             “Legos & Land Loan”

Legos.  About four weeks ago, Pam and I received legos which were being given out before the in-person worship service at the high school.  I think I got mine from Amy Young.  This was to be a reminder that we are all an integral part and piece of what Ashley Ridge Church is building in the Summerville community.  It worked!

We have our legos, one teal and one white, proudly displayed on top of our curio cabinet in the living room and every time we walk past them they remind us of what a privilege it is to be a part of something so special and so important for the future of the Summerville community.  Like Pastor Jenn and Andy Stanley, we believe the local church is the hope of the future!

This Sunday, October 25th, Ashley Ridge Church will briefly become “lego land” in the sense we will each have the opportunity to symbolically build a piece of our new building with a written prayer, a lego and an offering.  Pastor Jenn will have more to say on this, but do “mark your calendar” as you and your little people just won’t want to miss this Sunday’s in-person worship service!  It’s going to be fun!!!

Land Loan.  As you know, we are in the final days (Day 38) of the 40-Day Push to Burn the Note on the land. We started off the Surge and Stretch Challenge in March of this year with a loan principal balance of approx. 280K. In the midst of a pandemic and months of inability to meet in person, we have chiseled the land loan pay-off down to 116K. We can get across the finish line TOGETHER! 

As we head into this weekend’s celebration, I wanted to make sure you had the latest giving numbers.  The below figures are MTD as of October 23rd:

Regular Giving          $30,991.61

Building Surge          $19,849.00

TOTAL                        $50,840.61

If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Surgeyou can do so here.


Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

October 20

Building Update 029 – Deep Dive (Land)

    October 20               Building Update 029

                “Deep Dive (Land)”

I would like to focus our attention on a “Deep Dive”of the land in Summers Corner with special attention to the land preparation aspect, and how this could affect the project timeline and budget.  The 10 acres of land was originally purchased by Ashley Ridge Church from MWV-East Edisto Summers Corner, LLC on October 30, 2017 for a sales price of $450,000.

In just three short years, Ashley Ridge Church is now in striking distance of not only paying-off the land loan but also moving forward with the building process such that last Thursday, Cypress Engineering was given the go ahead to perform the initial civil engineering (schematic design) on the land.  At the same time, Trident Construction (GC) was authorized to engage Terracon Consultants, Inc. for the geotechnical study and soil borings.

These next two critical steps (taken in conjunction) will help answer the following remaining “BIG” questions with regards to land preparation, project timeline and budget:

1)  What is the composition and quality of the soil across the Phase I and Phase II building site, and can it be excavated and used for fill at other locations on the property?

2)  What will be the fill (dirt) requirements for the building pad and subsequent parking lot, outdoor worship space and food truck pavilion? 

3)  How will the results of the schematic design and geotechnical study affect the location and placement of the building, retaining pond(s), etc. on site as rendered by Equip Studio in the Phase I and Phase II Masterplan?

4)  What will be the required floor elevation as determined by local, county, state and federal building codes?

5) What routes will the utilities need to take in bringing water, sewer and electrical service to the property, and what special considerations may be needed with respect to utility easements? 

6)  How will the results of the schematic design and geotechnical study impact the cost and timeframe of land preparation, vertical construction and the building project in general?

NOTE:  All the above important questions and more should be answered in the next 4-6 weeks by the scope of work currently being performed on the property.

This is an exciting time for the church as the farther and farther we travel down the building project road, the closer and closer we get in experiencing the reality of the new Ashley Ridge Church facility in Summers Corner!

If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Surgeyou can do so here.


Derrick Horres, Project Leader



Building Update

October 16

Building Update 028 – Mission Possible

    October 16               Building Update 028

                “Mission Possible”

As the Project Leader, it seems I spend most of my time either promoting fundraising in some fashion or executing difference aspects of the financing plan.  I believe this is because the building project is as much about how to pay for it as actual construction.

We were able to assemble a quality team of key players in an amazingly short period of time!  Equip Studio, Trident Construction, Cypress Engineering are all ready to go to work as soon as funds are available.

We have been moving the ball down the field using cost savings and margin in the Operating Account.  We cannot continue to do this forever, but it is advantageous to do so as long as we can.  This strategy has got us to where we are now ready for the initial civil engineering work and geotec soil borings to begin.

Our plan is to NOT seek bank financing until early next year.  This is for several reasons:  1) allow sufficient time to pay-off the remaining land loan balance, 2) establish a reserve fund, 3) generate sufficient working capital for pre-construction expenses, 4) not have to pay interest on a construction loan until it was absolutely necessary, and 5) raise as much internally as we can to reduce the amount required for bank financing and debt service.

The pandemic greatly affected our ability to generate the necessary capital in the timeframe originally thought. So, we have had to stretch the Building Surge and make other necessary changes to the plan.

The current hurdle for Ashley Ridge Church is to raise the required funds to pay-off the remaining 125K balance on the land. This will keep the ball moving forward until early next year and answer the remaining unknowns on land preparation requirements and costs.

We have seen things continually made possible during this project which would have seemed impossible!  I believe the following verse from the Book of Mark says it all:  “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”– Mark 10:27

 If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Surgeyou can do so here.

Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

October 13

Building Update 027 – Morning Encouragement

    October 13               Building Update 027

        “Morning Encouragement”

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

I wanted to spend a few minutes giving everyone a good dose of “Morning Encouragement” on where we are in the building process and just how far we’ve come.  So, today’s update will cover a lot of ground in the three main project areas:  Financial Report, Construction Progress and Vision Development

Financial Report.  September giving finished strong with the General Fund receiving $46,703 in contributions which is just shy of the budgeted 50K per month needed.  Building Surge contributions for the month totaled $17,565 which includes $7,249 in memorials from the Dr. Bradley A. Brown Building Fund.

Total giving for September: $64,268

In October so far, the General Fund has received $16,276 MTD with the Building Surge and Memorial-Building Fund receiving $5,116 and $4,929 respectively.  Total MTD giving as of October 12th:  $26,321

For 2020, the numbers look even better!  The General Fund has received $471,890 YTD in contributions with the Building Surge and Memorial-Building Fund receiving $130,782 and $12,428 respectively.  These numbers are stellar!

Total 2020 YTD giving as of October 12th:  $615,100

Financial Summary: That’s right!  You guessed it!  By the end of the first half of October, total giving this year has already surpassed total giving in all of 2019 by at least 10K. This has us within 125K of paying for the land and allowed the building project to move forward by using cost savings and margin from the Operating Account to pay building expenses.  Well done everyone!

Construction Progress.  All the key players are in place to proceed with the building project. Equip Studio is on board as the architectural firm along with Trident Construction, the General Contractor (GC).  Parker Land Surveying, LLC has completed the topographic survey and Cypress Engineering will be starting the civil engineering as soon as we give them the go ahead.

Construction Summary:  When we get the land loan paid-off, we can proceed with Cypress Engineering and the civil engineering scope of work.  So, good job everyone and keep those prayers and contributions coming!

Vision Development.  If you were able to catch the Family Meeting on Sunday, October 4th, you saw Pastor Jenn roll-out the Floor Plan and Phase I and Phase II Masterplan in great detail.  The concept & design of the project was carefully developed and customized during the Equip LABS session back in August.

The new facility is tailored to the ministry needs of not only our congregation but to the ministry and missional needs of the Summerville community.   If you have not seen the Floor Plan and Phase I and Phase II Masterplan graphics, you can do so by subscribing to Building Updates here.

Vision Summary:   Over the next few months, we will be working with the architects and the GC on interior and exterior drawings and will determine the type of construction materials to be used.  The interior and exterior “look” will be based on a combination of desired aesthetics, ARB requirements and budget constraints.

Conclusion:   The FOR SVL Building Project has seen tremendous progress over the past year and everyone can be VERY proud of the determined effort Ashley Ridge Church has made to date under extremely difficult circumstances! Our immediate focus is on paying for the land with the 40-Day Push to Burn the Note and getting the civil engineering scope of work started as soon as possible! This will lead us into land preparation and permitting. For this, we will need your continued prayers and support!   We are making this journey – TOGETHER and what an incredible adventure it has been so far!  The BIG Push is on!!!

NOTE:  Building Updates will continue to be posted on Tuesday and Friday for the remainder of the 40-Day Push to Burn the Note after which will go back to being bi-weekly with posting on Friday.

If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Surgeyou can do so here.

Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

October 9

Building Update 026 – “Dear Noah”

    October 9                Building Update 026

                     “Dear Noah,”

I think your story is one of the most amazing and remarkable in the Bible!  With just hand tools and members of your family as helpers, you were not only able to build a boat large enough to save mankind from a worldwide catastrophe and flood, but you also succeeded in saving one male and one female from every kind of animal and creature.  Your story is filled with faith, perseverance and promise and walking faithfully with God.  I hope you don’t mind if I use part of the story.

14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high. 16 Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks.

                                                                                                         -Genesis 6:14-16  

Ashley Ridge Church is building an “ark” as well.  It is not to be a boat to float on the water like yours but a building to sit on dry land in Summers Corner.  While we will not be taking on animals and creatures (at least that we know of), it will be a place where our families, friends, and neighbors in the Summerville community can take refuge and seek safety from all types of present day storms.

At times, the task has seemed overwhelming and daunting, building a 23K square foot facility during a pandemic, economic crisis, and political upheaval.  Maybe you had similar thoughts in your time with the challenges you faced?  We have been able to take comfort in the following verse from the Book of Romans.

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?                                                                                       -Romans 8:31

We are in Day 24 of a 40-Day Push to Burn the Note and have whittled the pay-off on our land loan down to 132K with a little over two weeks left until October 25th and the end of the big push.  As you can see, we still have a ways to go.

What we really need is another flood, not of rain and water this time, but of prayers and contributions of every kind.  Like you, we have the opportunity to be a blessing to those that come after us by what we are able to accomplish with our defining building task.  With God’s help and your example, we will get ours done, too – TOGETHER!

Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

October 6

Building Update 025 – Family Meeting Postscript

    October 6                Building Update 025

       “Family Meeting Postscript”

Anyone else have trouble going to sleep Sunday night after the Family Meeting?  It was a super exciting evening to see all the work done over the past year come to fruition and be able to be shared with everyone.  The more the Family Meeting went on, the longer I wanted it to last!  It was as if I/we were already there!

I envisioned myself in the new building getting coffee (decaf) at the portable Coffee Bar or sitting in the Lounge catching-up with John Johnson or hanging out in the Lobby before worship chatting with greeters, Sandy, Mark and Ronnie.  Once the music started and I could hear James and the band, I headed for the Worship area and sat in the very back soaking it up and absorbing the whole experience in all its many facets of just worshiping GOD – TOGETHER!

If you missed the Live Family Meeting Sunday, don’t panic! You can still view the entire event on the Ashley Ridge Church YouTube page.  If you were with us, then you saw the future Ashley Ridge Church facility and grounds laid-out in great detail by Pastor Jenn.

You saw Pastor Jenn describe the Lobby, arLittles wing, arKids wing with washer & dryer, Student large group and small group spaces, Worship area, Administrative area with Lounge and Green Room, Food Truck Pavilion and Outside Worship Green space, Parking Lot and Drop-off areas and so much more.  Then, after a 30 minute Q & A where Pastor Jenn and James answered your many questions, it had to come to an end.

It would take me pages and pages to describe all the features and details of the new AR facility and grounds, but luckily for me, James Galloway has been able to put all the Floor Plan, Phase I & Phase II Masterplan graphics from Sunday night in a Dropbox folder which you can access here.

Please go and view all the amazing features and details of the new AR facility and grounds for yourself, and if you should have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at:

If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Surgeyou can do so here.

Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

October 3

Building Update 024 – Big Reveal & Appeal

    October 3                Building Update 024

       “The BIG Reveal & Appeal”

The BIG Reveal.  This Sunday evening, we will have a VERY special online Family Meeting of enormous magnitude and scope for the life and future of Ashley Ridge Church. The Family Meeting will encompass “The BIG Reveal” during which Pastor Jenn will roll-out the Floor Plan and Phase I and Phase II Masterplan for the new Ashley Ridge Church facility to be built in Summers Corner starting next year.

I will not spoil the event for you with a lot of fun facts and figures on our new facility at this time but instead will defer to Pastor Jenn to give you all the exciting details and visual graphics on Sunday evening, October 4th at 8 pm.  You just don’t want to miss this first glimpse into the future house of worship for Ashley Ridge Church and home for Summerville!  Can’t wait!!!

As you know, we are also in the midst of the 40-Day Push to Burn the Note, and while we have had much success with the Building Surge so far this year (despite the pandemic), we still owe approximately 136K on the land loan.  What we really need to continue to move forward with the building process in the most expeditious manner is a collective “big hit” on the loan principal, thereby reducing it to within striking distance of being paid-off on or before October 25th!  It is crunch time, and we really need your help!

The BIG Appeal. To get the “big hit” on the land loan, we are sending out an urgent appeal to all our Ashley Ridge Church family and supporters.   Partner with us this weekend to significantly reduce and/or pay-off the land loan before or during the Family Meeting Sunday evening by giving a one-time gift via the Building Surge, each according to what they can do. I can’t think of a better way to move the mountain than for us all to do it – TOGETHER!

Prayer.  Dear Lord, we come to you today asking for your help in moving this tall mountain (paying for the land) which stands in the way of our quest to build a house for Ashley Ridge Church and home for Summerville.  Give us the strength, determination and will to get this done not just for ourselves but for all that would benefit from this facility for years to come.  Let’s us each do what we can in this effort but leave the results with you.  In Jesus’ name my pray.  Amen.

If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Surgeyou can do so here.


Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

September 29

Building Update 023 – Crunching the Numbers

   September 29                Building Update 023

       “Crunching the Numbers II”

The previous “Crunching the Numbers” was Building Update 005 back on May 8th.  We have come a long way in the building process since then, so it’s time to crunch the numbers again!  The figures below are MTD as of September 28th, or Day 13 of the 40-Day Push to Burn the Note:

Regular Giving          $45,702.81

Building Surge          $16,083.61  (includes Memorials to Building Fund)

TOTAL                        $61,786.42

The Building Surge has generated $131,354.49 YTD, and when all the recent contributions have been applied to the land loan (plus regular monthly payments) the pay-off will be approximately 136K.  We continue to make huge strides in paying for the 10-acre building site in Summers Corner. The 40-Day Push to Burn the Note is to have the loan completely paid-off on or before Sunday, October 25th.  We are getting close to getting this done – TOGETHER!

The original 2020 Surge goal of 400K was broken down into three parts:  1) 280K paying for the land 2)  100K establishing a Reserve Fund and 3)  20K for Concept & Design (architectural fees).

Since the start of the Surge & Stretch fundraising initiative earlier this year, we have been able to fund the Reserve plus pay all architectural design and survey fees to date using cost savings/margin from the Operating Account.  Thus, we are only 136K away from not only paying-off the land loan but reaching our 2020 Surge goals as well.  I can’t tell you enough how much your generous financial support is appreciated – it is making the dream a reality! Speaking of which:


If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Surgeyou can do so here.

Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

September 25

Building Update 022 – So Much Progress!

   September 25                Building Update 022

                “Progress Report”

There is soooo much going on which I need to tell you about; I decided to do a special building update to coincide with the start of the “40-Day Push to Burn the Note” which runs September 16th – October 25th.  So, in reference to all that is happening on the building front, I am naming this update:  “Progress Report”

  1. Concept & Design. Pastor Jenn, the AR Staff and I had our last full Zoom video conference with the architects on September 14th to iron-out remaining details and specs for the new building design started during the EquipLABS session back in August.  It went very well, and Equip Studio has made the final changes and adjustments this past week.  On Tuesday, we received the final deliverables.  That’s right! We will be able to show you the new Ashley Ridge Church facility (Floor Plan and Masterplan) very soon!  Can’t wait!
  2. The survey work being performed by Parking Land Surveying, LLC was completed last week. This means we have the topographic survey, tree survey, and water and sewer surveys on the building site in Summers Corner.
  3. Land Loan. Starting September 16th through October 25th, is the 40-Day Push to Burn the Note.  You will hear more about this from Pastor Jenn, but I can tell you this “it is the BIG push to pay-off the remaining balance on the land loan.”  Paying for the land will give us initial equity in the building project and clear the way for bank financing early next year.  We can get this done – TOGETHER!
  4. Civil Engineering.On Thursday, September 17th, we had our initial civil engineering meeting with Trident Construction (GC) and Cypress Engineering at the Church Office. I can’t overstate how important the civil engineering piece is to the building project as it is this scope of work which leads directly to receiving the required land preparation and construction permits.  Cypress will start with schematic design along with geotechnical survey and soil borings.


As you can see from all the above, there is A LOT of progress being made with regards to the building effort, and we really need your support during this critical phase. Whatever you can contribute to the General Fund and/or 40-Day Push to Burn the Note via the Building Surge will be very much appreciated!!!

If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Surgeyou can do so here.

Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

September 11

Building Update 021

   September 11                 Building Update 021

                “Next BIG Step”

Over the past year, everyone associated with the For SVL Building Project has worked extremely hard, laying the foundation for the construction of the new AR facility in Summers Corner. We have seen doors open at every point, level and phase of the process.  It has been an incredible experience for me, personally, to see the number of individuals jump on board and assist with the effort. I am truly grateful!

The architects with Equip Studio are amazing professionals with years of experience and expertise in church Concept & Design and came through BIG TIME during the EquipLABS charrette.  A charrette is an intensive planning session where designers and others collaborate on a vision for development.  It provides a forum for ideas and offers the unique advantage of giving immediate feedback. The charrette format (along with the very precise and detailed input from the AR Staff) was instrumental in the overarching success of the EquipLABS.

Trident Construction as the General Contractor (GC) was chosen for the project several years ago and is just the company that can pull it all together and make the dream a reality.  Trident will perform the actual land preparation (putting the shovel in the ground) to completing the vertical construction.

The “Next BIG Step” is paying for the land in Summers Corner.  Paying-off the land loan is the key to proceeding with the building project on many levels for many important reasons.

You will be hearing shortly from Pastor Jenn about our 40-Day Push to Burn the Note, which will be a maximum effort to finish paying for the land.  Let us “TOGETHER” do what we can to support this amazing effort that allows the building project to take the “Next BIG Step!”

If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Surgeyou can do so here.

Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

August 28

Building Update 020

August 28                    Building Update 020


Financial Update.   The Building Surge has generated $14,735.30 MTD in contributions and $113,894.88 YTD and is showing no signs of slowing down.  To pay-off the land loan, an additional 159K will be needed in Building Surge contributions.

The General Fund has received contributions of $38,493.38 MTD. General Fund contributions are running behind the 50K budgeted amount per month which will cut into the margin created over the first months of the year unless there is a strong finish in the last 3 days.  Any additional contributions to the General Fund to help make budget in August would be much appreciated!

Leverage.  I had mentioned in Building Update 013 that we were starting to see giving in general being leveraged by the sheer number of individuals and families participating in Regular Giving, Stretch Giving and Building Surge fundraising efforts.  So, with this update, I would like to drill down into some more detail and numbers.

Below is an estimate of where we were back in February/March when the Building Surge first started (by percentage of regular giver participation as a function of time) to where we are now, and where we will need to be by the end of September:

DATE             PARTICIPATION*                              REMARKS

February 2020            10-15%                  Pre-Surge Commitments from Leadership

March 2020                15-20%                  21 Day Fast and Commitment Day

May 2020                    20-25%                  End of initial Surge & Stretch period

Jun – Aug 2020           25-35%                  Surge & Stretch Challenge extended

September 2020          55-60%                 Participation needed by September 30th to pay-off land       and create sufficient margin

NOTE:   Definition of leverage – to use (something) to maximum advantage                                                                                                                                   Oxford Dictionaries

*It is hopeful that more and more of our congregation (regular givers and first-time givers) participate over time in fundraising efforts as we will need increased margin in the General Fund to generate the necessary working capital for the building project and sufficient Building Surge contributions to pay for the land, establish the Reserve Fund and have sufficient working capital for building related expenses prior to seeking bank financing.

If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Surgeyou can do so here.

Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

August 27

Building Update 019

   August 27                  Building Update 019

       “EquipLABS – Summary”

Now that the 2 day on-site design lab is over, Jonathan Edens and his team of architects are working at their office in Greenville, SC for a 2-3 week design period.  At the conclusion, there will be a virtual review process with Ashley Ridge Church and Trident Construction (GC) after which the final deliverables will be given to the church.

The deliverables due from Equip Studio are as follows:

  • Preliminary cost analysis
  • Conceptual Phase 01 floor plan (rendered)
  • Masterplan (rendered)

EquipLABS has been a major leap forward for the building project.  It has not only produced an excitingly viable concept and design within or very close to project budget parameters but has projected growth and future building phases already incorporated into the Masterplan.

Several important time sensitive tasks have come from discussions with the Equip Studio architects and Trident Construction Company representatives:

  • civil engineering work will need to commence on the land as soon as possible to determine soil composition, fill (dirt) requirements, water and sewer routes and location of retention ponds
  • the church will need to continue adding money to its contingency (reserve) fund in preparation for bank financing application requirements
  • fundraising efforts will need to continue to pay-off existing land loan balance via Building Surge contributions
  • Regular Giving will need to increase to create sufficient working capital from margin in the Operating Account to pay civil engineering costs and other building related expenses

If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Surgeyou can do so here.

Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

August 26

Building Update 018

August 26                  Building Update 018

           “EquipLABS – Day 2”

When I left the church office late on Monday, Pastor Jenn and James Galloway were getting ready to take the Equip Studio team of architects out to dinner before the team retired to their hotel rooms to continue working on the design.  I was supposed to go with them but due to the absolutely horrible weather, I decided it was best to make the long trek home (West Ashley) in the pouring rain and flooded roads while there was still daylight.  It was a good decision!

It had been a tough afternoon session with the EquipLABS and everyone was tired and a little deflated.  The ministry requirements of the church weren’t translating and matching-up well into a design that was compatible with the project budget and the compromises seemed “gut”wrenching, and difficult to process in the heat of the moment.  We all knew the EquipLABS was a process and that process needed to play out.

Pastor Jenn, James, and Jonathan Edens along with his team of architects discussed the project over dinner, which resulted in the following email from Pastor Jenn at 5:56 am yesterday morning:

“I believe we still have a lot of work to do today.  Yesterday got us to the critical tension point of where our timeline and budget meet land and construction costs.  Today we need to get creative and mine for more options to bring the two closer together.  I’m definitely not ready to move forward with the sizes and spaces that came with the first draft.  I felt better after talking it through at dinner with Jonathan and his team because they also feel as though there are more options for us to explore.”      -Jenn Williams

I think we all knew deep down when we left the church office Monday in a sky filled with dark and menacing clouds that the building project hung in the balance of what would happen on Day 2.  Jonathan and his team of crack architects worked until midnight on a new design.

When I left home for Day-2, I wasn’t quite sure what the day would bring.  When I got to the church office a few minutes early, I had this sense of peace like everything was going to be all right, and after talking to Jenn and James, I felt that they had the same sense, too. I think sometimes we delude ourselves into thinking we have control of a given situation when actually it’s God working his will the whole time.

As Jonathan presented his team’s new design for our building, I immediately noticed this was different, and the more it was explained, developed and refined during the day the better and better it got.  This wasn’t just good, it was great!  As the church staff, one by one began to give their input and the design was tweaked, I realized this isthe future home of Ashley Ridge Church taking shape and form before our very eyes!

As Jonathan and his team worked, flushing out the building design and developed the Master Plan, the more I watched in amazement. Once they knew they had our approval and confidence, they worked with such speed and efficiency. It was fun to just sit there and watch, which Matt Halter and I did for two hours.

I left the church office yesterday with great excitement, and shortly received the below text from Garrett Reuber, AR Financial Team Leader.  Garrett came for the Building Design and Master Plan presentation at 1:30 pm.  He sent this at 4:37 pm:

“After today, I have never been more excited about the future.  To see a very realistic and simplistic design come together for the now, coupled with concrete plans of how to expand as we grow is 100% something to think the ENTIRE church will be able to get behind. The Staff provided invaluable input for an incredible design and interacted with Equip while Jenn looked on like a proud Mom.  It was awesome.  There is no doubt, going to be challenges and very real hurdles that need to be gotten over (many of them financial), but my goodness-this really isn’t just pie in the sky dream.  It will happen.  ”TOGETHER” is the way.”     -Garrett Reuber

If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Surgeyou can do so here.

Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

August 25

Building Update 017

August 25                  Building Update 017


Today was the first of two days spent with representatives from Equip Studio (architectural firm) and Trident Construction (General Contractor).  The day kicked-off at the church office with Prayer and short Introductions of all the team representatives followed by an update from Pastor Jenn on the Ministry Direction and Vision of the church.

Jonathan Edens, lead architect with Equip Studio, made an initial presentation on the Structure of the EquipLABS Process and what to expect over the next 5-9 weeks followed by a Programming Review of church attendance numbers and statistics.  Prior to today, Equip Studio had conducted Zoom interviews with all the church staff to determine size and scope of the various individual ministries, i.e. worship, arLittles and arKids, arStudents, Food Truck (Expanding the Table), etc.

Based on their research into the numbers and information provided by prior Zoom interviews, Jonathan Edens made a presentation on two different size Building Options of 30K and 39K square feet and their estimated costs of approximately $11,000,000 and $14,000,000 respectively.  Due to the size and cost of these two options, the project leader and church staff chose to go with a smaller size building in keeping with a project budget limit of $7,000,000 to include all hard and soft costs.

In the afternoon, there was a Big Picture Discussion to establish and narrow the design direction after which Equip Studio and Trident Construction representatives broke into a separate Develop Design Direction session to further refine the design.

In the final session of the day at 6 pm, everyone got back together, and Jonathan Edens presented a basic design. This preliminary design will be further developed by the Equip Studio architects over the evening hours with a Design Review presentation on Tuesday morning followed by the development of a Master Plan. Stay tuned for Building Update  018 on EquipLABS – Day 2!

If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Surgeyou can do so here.

Derrick Horres, Project Leader


Building Update

August 24

Building Update 016

August 24                  Building Update 016

                  “Game Plan”

At last night’s virtual Family Meeting, Pastor Jenn laid out the “Game Plan” for getting us over the building project hump.  If you did not catch the Family Meeting last night, I encourage you to do so.  The meeting is available on YouTube and it will also be re-broadcast every night this week at 8pm on

The plan has two main tasks which need to be accomplished 1) paying for the land in Summers Corner on or before September 30thand 2) starting the civil engineering phase of the building process as soon as possible to allow for the long lead time in permitting.  Both these time sensitive, key tasks will help clear the way for construction of the new AR facility in early 2021.

Paying for the land. To pay-off the 167K loan balance on the land in a little over 5 weeks is a tall order but not an impossible one. Yesterday, Pastor Jenn talked about how nothing is impossible with the Spirit of God. We can get this done if we do it – Together!  Many have already given generously to the Building Surge and for that we are truly grateful.  All we can ask is that everyone that is connected to Ashley Ridge Church pray about what roll each may have in accomplishing this principle and paramount task.  All contributions to the Building Surge go first and foremost to paying for the land.

Starting the Civil Engineering.  To start the civil engineering work on the land in the next few weeks is also a tall order as it will need to be funded by margin in the Operating Account.  So far, we are using margin in the Operating Account to pay for survey work and the EquipLABS fee.  To use the Operating Account for the civil engineering work also, will require continued margin creation by your generous contributions to the General Fund above and beyond Regular Giving.  All margin over the monthly budgeted 50K amount can be used for building expenses.

Summary. This is a “Battle Stations” all hands on deck moment in the life of Ashley Ridge Church!  Any and all support (financial and otherwise) given to the successful execution and conclusion of the “Game Plan” and accomplishment of these two principle tasks, will be much appreciated, and I personally, as the Project Leader, will be most thankful!

If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Surgeyou can do so here.

Derrick Horres, Project Leader


Building Update

August 21

Building Update 015

 August 21                   Building Update 015

              “Family Meeting!”

This Sunday evening, August 23rdat 8 pm, Ashley Ridge Church has a very important Family Meeting and an appointment with destiny.  Pastor Jenn will talk about exciting upcoming plans for Ashley Ridge Church to resume in-person gatherings, and she will give a progress report (with Q& A) on the building project.  It is so crucial to communicate this information to the congregation that the Family Meeting will be replayed each evening at 8 pm for the next 5 nights.

I want to encourage everyone to watch and participate in this important virtual event.  As the Project Leader, I can tell you we are at a crossroads for the building project.  We have successfully navigated through the pandemic, the financial storm that followed, demonstrations, social unrest and the uncertainly of the season. We have scratched and clawed our way up the financial “thermometer” to the point we can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel.

There has been no shortage of challenges along the way, but through it all, I can tell you this, Ashley Ridge Church as a congregation, has been outstanding in its determination to keep the church and building effort going under the most difficult of circumstances.  It has fed those in need, given generously and sacrificially to the General Fund and recorded some amazing totals with regards to the Building Surge.

I would like to be able to tell you that it has been enough, that we are there, done, finished with the fundraising, but I can’t.  As the Project Leader, it is my responsibility to see the mission is accomplished, and until James is on stage with the fabulous AR Band and Pastor Jenn is bringing us another inspiring message from our new facility in Summers Corner, we still have work to do, funds to raise and challenges to overcome.

The next two tasks are heavy lifts and will require an abundance of spiritual muscle and sacrifice, but I believe, when accomplished, it will get us over the hump.  The first task is paying for the land.  As of August 10th we need 167K to be able to say “paid-for” or yell “we’re debt free,” and second, the civil engineering phase must start very soon if we are to keep to our timeline of having a building completed by the end of 2021.

Please pray for our church, its ministry and the building project that we may find a way to take these next key steps in the building effort.

If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Surgeyou can do so here.


                                                            Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

August 14

Building Update 014 – Financial Report

               August 14                       Building Update 014

          “Financial Report”

“Financial Report” is the fourth in the series of summer updates that focuses on financial aspects of the building financing plan – the first three being Exciting News, Summer Surge, and Unity of Effort.  If you have not read these important updates, you can do so by clicking here.

Financial Update.  Thanks to your generous support, Regular Giving and Building Surge contributions recorded some amazing totals in July!  The General Fund received an impressive $58,272.46 and created $8,272.46 in margin for the month.  This margin will be used to pay for survey work on the building site by Parker Land Surveying, LLC.  The work is ongoing, but results should be available very soon.

Building Surge.  Again, thanks to your generous support during the month of July, the Building Surge generated an additional $13,136.82 in contributions which will go toward paying for the land.  The Building Surge Fund has received a total $106,694.40 YTD with more coming in every month.

Land Loan.  With contributions received from the Christmas Offering in 2019 and the Building Surge this year, Ashley Ridge Church has been able to make several large principle reduction payments on the land loan in addition to making monthly mortgages payments further reducing the loan amount. As of August 10th, we need an additional 167K to finish paying for the land.

While we have made significant progress paying for the land under very difficult circumstances, it is absolutely critical to the building effort that the loan be paid-off as soon as possible as this will allow Building Surge contributions to be used for other building related expenses and clear the way for Ashley Ridge Church to seek bank financing when the time comes.  We can get this done – Together!


If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Surgeyou can do so here.


                                                            Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

July 31

Building Update 013


   July 31                           Building Update 013

           “Unity of Effort”

“Unity of Effort” is the third in the series of summer updates that focuses on  financial aspects of the building financing plan – the first two being “Exciting News” and “Summer Surge.”  If you have not read these important updates, you can do so by clicking here.

With more exciting news to report, I can now confirm we are in the midst of a summer Surge as contributions have increased significantly in the past few weeks and will likely continue through August and into September. The Building Surge Total YTD has blown past the 90K mark and currently stands at $98,458.83 just shy of six figures. This is up $12,436.83 for the month (as of July 29th).  The General Fund has received $54,360.42 MTD and has created $4,360.42 margin so far with 3 days left to go in July.

The Building Surge fund has received 142 contributions YTD with an average $693.37 per contribution as Regular Giving and Building Surge giving are now being leveraged by the sheer numbers of individuals and families participating in the fundraising effort.  This has created a “Unity of Effort” among our church family with more and more jumping on board and pulling on the rope!

“Unity of Effort” is exactly what we had been hoping for during the planning process as the large amount of capital needed to support the building project can only be accomplished with widespread congregational participation.  Thanks to all of you we are getting it done and moving the For SVL Building Project forward under the most difficult of circumstances and conditions!

“A gift opens the way
and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.”

Proverbs 18:16 | NIV

 If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Surgeyou can do so at

                                                                        Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

July 20

Building Update 012

   July 20                                                       Building Update 012

        “Summer Surge”

I think we are starting to see the beginning of a “Summer Surge” with respect to contributions to the General Fund and Building Surge!  If this turns out to be the case, it would be “fantastic” news for the For SVL Building Project, and I will tell you why:  Since all Building Surge contributions go to paying for the land first and foremost (which will take longer in the current economic climate), the funds necessary to pay critical, time sensitive land preparation expenses over the next 2-4 months will need to come from additional contributions to the General Fund.  This is only possible with your generous contributions beyond Regular Giving thereby creating margin in the Operating Account.

Using the margin in the Operating Account was always a part of the building financing plan, but there needs to be sufficient funds available to cover the actual cost of the expenses so as not to put undue pressure on the Operating Budget.  Successfully using margin in the Operating Account to pay critical, time sensitive land preparation expenses will accomplish two things:  1) allow the building process to move expeditiously forward and 2) keep the build timeline intact

The three land preparation/building expenses that will need to be paid using Operating Fund margin are as follows:

  • Parker Land Surveying, LLC    $12,200
  • Equip Studio/EquipLABS fee $18,450
  • Civil Engineering Services (TBD)

So, bottom line, we need your continued support with contributions to the General Fund and Building Surge  to move forward with the building process and keep the Operating Account healthy.  If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Surgeyou can do so via the church website and click on Give.

                                                                                    Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

July 16

Building Update 011

 July 16                                                                             Building Update 011

        “Exciting News”

I have some “Exciting News”that I just couldn’t wait to share with you on our Building Surge!  We are now officially over 90K in contributions received!  This is up $5,371.25 for July 1-12th.  I can’t tell you how encouraged I am to see these kinds of numbers being generated in the midst of a pandemic and financial crisis!  Your generosity and dedication are truly amazing and inspiring!

Also, with regards to the General Fund, we are 6K over budget for the first half of 2020. Another sign the Stretch in Regular Giving is having its desired effect.  We did dip below the monthly budgeted 50K mark in contributions for June which came in at approximately 43K but overall still up for the year.  This is sooooo important for the For SVL Building Project to keep the Operating Account healthy for long term financial stability.

Thanks to all our difference makers who so generously give of their time, energy, talent and financial resources!  Thanks to you, we continue to move forward with serving the Summerville community and the building process!

If you would like to make a contribution to the General Fund or Building Surgeyou can do so via the church website and click on Give.

                                                                                    Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

July 10

Building Update 010

 July 10                                                 Building Update 010

        “And, we’re off!”

In June, the Leadership Team approved funding from the Operating Account in the amount of $12,200 for Parker Land Surveying, LLC to proceed with survey work on the 10 acre building site in Summers Corner. With this very important first step, Ashley Ridge Church has entered the execution phase of the building process. The Scope of Work will include the following:

  • Topographic Survey
  • Tree Survey (12” hardwoods and 20” pines)
  • Route Survey for sewer to the north (650’)
  • Route Survey for the water along Summers Drive (1,600’)

The above when completed will provide valuable information on how much fill (dirt) will be required to bring the building site up to elevation and code.  This is important for cost analysis and budgetary reasons.

The survey work will be followed by civil engineering services for which we have already received estimates from Cypress Engineering, Seamon Whiteside and Thomas & Hutton. A decision on which company will be performing the work is expected later this summer.

The Scope of Work for the civil engineering services is broken down into the following main areas:  Schematic Design, Construction Documents, Permitting, Construction Administration and Subconsultants

Once the civil engineering is completed and permits are received, actual land preparation can begin.  Timeframe to begin is dependent upon raising the necessary funds to complete the work.

If you would like to make a contribution to the Building Surge, you can do so via the church website and click on Give.

                                                                                    Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

June 22

Building Update 009

    June 22                           Building Update 009

      “The Dream Factory”

Pastor Jenn, Matt Halter and I had the opportunity on June 4th to meet with Trident Construction, our General Contractor (GC) for the For SVL Building Project.  We came away so impressed with the level of expertise, experience and accomplishment of this great company over its almost 40-year run.

It was clear to me that the leaders at Trident not only wanted our business of building the future home of Ashley Ridge Church, but that they were just as committed, dedicated and enthusiastic about the project as we were.  As we all sat together (socially distanced) in their spacious conference room, we discussed the building project and the first steps of getting it off the ground – another piece of the For SVL Building Project puzzle in place!

As we left, we walked by beautiful pictures of past Trident projects, which were proudly displayed on the walls.  Each project was an architectural masterpiece of beauty and design and a dream come true for some business, developer or organization. I thought to myself, one day, the new Ashley Ridge Church could be featured on that hallway wall and Trident Construction is just the company to help us make it happen.  Trident Construction is “the dream Factory” of construction projects, and our dream is now their dream too!

                                                                                    Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

June 5

Building Update 008

                                                                                                   June 5                          

  “Forward Together”

The initial Surge & Stretch Challenge campaign dates of March 22 – May 31 have come and gone with the following results.  Drum roll please!!!  Dddrrrrrrr! Surge contributions TOTAL: $75,221.72 Thanks to your generous support!  Due to the coronavirus pandemic and financial crisis the Surge & Stretch Challenge 2020 has been extended until the end of the year but will be more focused in its efforts to attain specific results which are crucial to the For SVL Building Project.

“Forward Together” will be the start of a new Surge initiative for the summer of 2020 with the following mission:

To focus attention, communications and Surge contributions toward paying-down/paying-off the land loan secured by the 10 acre building site in Summers Corner between the dates of June 1 – August 31st.

Paying for the land is critical to the success of the For SVL Building Project and for keeping to the build timeline for the following reasons:

  • Since the construction loan will be collateralized (secured) by the land and future building, it is necessary the land be unencumbered (paid-off) prior to seeking the construction loan
  •  The land purchased in 2017 for $450,000 was recently appraised in 2019 for $550,000, therefore, once the land loan is paid-in-full, the church will have significant equity in the project and a track record of meeting and exceeding its financial obligations
  • AR is paying mortgage interest on the current loan principle and when paid down/paid-off, the savings, could be put to good use in the building project or operating account

If you would like to make a contribution to the Building Surge, you can do so via the church website and click on Give.

Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

June 1

Building Post 007

         “Inspiration & Urgency”

I attended the Pop-up Worship Service on May 28th located on the green just outside the entrance to Ashley Ridge High School.  It was so great to see my AR family and actually be Together in the same worship space, but was struck by the thick yellow CAUTION tape strung across the three main double door entrances to the school.  It looked surreal, and to tell you the truth, a little like a crime scene (all collateral damage from the coronavirus pandemic).

I came away inspired from the Pop-up service with a renewed “sense of urgency”for our For SVL Building Project.  Ashley Ridge Church has set in motion the plan that will lead to construction of the new facility in Summer Corner over the next two years, and recommend we proceed as expeditiously and responsibly as possible.

According to the plan, there will be a series of fundraising initiatives over the course of the next two years necessary to make the new AR building a reality.  It will not be easy, but, the reward will be so worth it when we walk into the new facility for the first time and worship Together and begin using a space that grows our ability to be FOR the Summerville community.

With “inspiration”in our quest and a renewed“sense of urgency,” let us as a congregation not hesitate to ask what we can do or continue to do in support of this amazing ministry.  If you would like to make a contribution to the Building Surge,you can do so via the church website ( and click on Give.

Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

May 25

Building Post 006

“Positive Developments”

First, I want to give you a positive development on our Surge & Stretch Challenge
campaign. The Surge has generated $70,018.80 in contributions to date which is
an increase of +$8,554.87 in the past two weeks. Surge contributions continue to
come in each week and we feel momentum is building in this area despite the
headwinds of the coronavirus pandemic and financial crisis. The initial Surge deadline
of May 31 st has been extended to the end of the year to allow 1) those affected
by the current crisis the opportunity to participate in the effort and 2) allow
Ashley Ridge Church the greatest opportunity to reach its Surge 2020 fundraising

We have also seen positive developments on the building front since our last
update. Pastor Jenn, James Galloway and I had an initial ZOOM conference with
Jonathan Edens, architect on May 18th. Jonathan is with the firm Equip Studio
out of Greenville, SC and has already submitted a Proposal Outline for
Architectural Services which is being reviewed by the church staff and leadership.

In another positive development, I received a call from H. Chapman (Chappy)
McKay, Vice President, Trident Construction. Trident Construction was chosen back in 2017 to be our General Contractor (GC) for the new facility. He has invited representatives from our church leadership to his office for an initial planning meeting. We do not yet have a date for the meeting but hope to in the next couple of weeks. He also has the ability to fast track planning and construction of our new facility saving several months on the timeline.

As you can see, there are many positive developments going on with the For SVL
Building Project, and it will get busier and busier the closer we get to breaking
ground on the new Ashley Ridge Church facility. But, nothing is bigger or more
important than your continuous support and generous financial gifts which makes
this all possible!

Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

May 8

Building Post 005

“Crunching the Numbers”

Pastor Jenn has been doing a new sermon series the past two weeks entitled IN THE MEANTIME”which has been a rallying cry for me.  I have been so expectant to get the For SVL Building Project off the ground and wanted to see and show the congregation concrete progress on the building front, and we are making steady progress.  But, never in my wildest dreams did I think we would be trying to accomplish this in the middle of a worldwide pandemic and financial crisis!

Since becoming the Project Leader late last year, I have been “crunching the numbers”i.e. numbers for building square footage, numbers for financing and interest rates, accrued interest numbers, payment amount numbers, construction budget numbers and numbers for the Surge & StretchChallenge. You name it, and I’ve crunched it!

As a retired U.S. Marine logistician, I am used to “crunching numbers.”  It’s what I do and trained for, and I am going to continue “crunching the numbers”until the new AR building is sitting on the 10 acres of land in Summers Corner!

It’s not going to be easy, and it never really was, but with the coronavirus pandemic and the financial uncertainty, it’s going to be extremely challenging to say the least, take more determination and commitment, more generosity and sacrifice than we could have ever imagined before. Pastor Jenn calls it spiritual muscle, and I figure you only get spiritual muscle by spiritual weight lifting.

They say, we will transition eventually to a “new normal” and things will get better, clearer and less uncertain.  IN THE MEANTIME, we continue to seek God’s will and wisdom and stay focused on the task at hand and modify and adjust the plan as needed.

Back to the numbers, though!  I want to give you the big picture of where we are and what we are up against.  The Surge has generated $61,463.93 in contributions to date (as of May 5th) which is remarkable considering the current economic climate.  The Stretch Challenge may add additional funds because Regular Giving has been over the 50K mark for the past three months, but it remains to be seen if this will result in a surplus at year end.

The Surge 2020 Goal of 400K is broken down into 280K for paying-off land, 100K establishing a reserve fund and 20K for architectural design fees.  This means we still need $338,536.07 in Surge contributions to accomplish all the above and keep to the project timeline.

Can it be done?  Absolutely!  I have recommended to Pastor Jenn that we extend the Surge & Stretch Challenge deadline past May 31st to allow everyone the opportunity to participate that may have been affected by the current pandemic and economic crisis.  We will have more information on this as it becomes available.

IN THE MEANTIME, we continue to seek God’s will and wisdom and stay focused on the task at hand and modify and adjust the plan as needed.

Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

April 27

Building Post 004

It has been a while since our last update and we wanted to share with you what’s been happening on the building front.  First, the Surge and Stretch Challenge, which is how we will be financing the For SVL Building Project (along with bank financing), is off and running.  As of April 21st, the Surge has generated $48,759.50 in contributions (with more coming in every week) while the Stretch Challenge continues to add margin to the Operating Fund.  This is all by design and is working well even through the current health and financial crisis thanks to your dedication and generous support!

The funds received from the Surge and Stretch Challenge will allow us to pay down/pay off the land loan, establish a reserve fund and pay architectural design fees and preliminary land preparation costs.  Here is the Commitment Card you can fill-out and send in online, or if you would like to just make a contribution to the Building Surge, you can do via the Ashley Ridge app or by going to and clicking on Give.

Our Building Team Civil Engineer, Matt Halter, is getting proposals from at least two local surveying companies on work which will need to be accomplished to prepare the land for construction.  We are also planning or meeting soon with our architectural firm, Equip Studio, for the redesign of the new church building as soon as funds become available.

Thank you for your continued prayers and involvement as we move forward to love and serve the Summerville community!

Derrick Horres, Project Leader

Building Update

March 21

Building Update 003

So much has changed in the last week and we’re all doing what we can to find our way through it and figure out how to proceed in these different circumstances. We will find our way – TOGETHER!

If you weren’t able to join us live on Thursday night for the virtual Family Meeting, you can watch it here. In the meeting, Jenn shares our plan and also the changes we’re making. One of the things you’ll hear is that we are continuing with our Building Surge, which officially kicks off tomorrow! Here is the commitment card you can fill out and send in online. We know this surge and our commitments will be different and we will likely need to extend it based on the length and realities of the present health crisis. Our heart behind all of it is to continue as a church so we can love and serve our community for the long term. We need God and we need each other!

Tomorrow morning (Sunday, March 22nd), we will be breaking our 21-day fast and gathering online for worship at 10am via We hope you will join us and also invite friends and family near and far to tune in from wherever they are. The building is closed, but Church is open!

Building Update

March 2

Building Update 002

Yesterday (March 1) we kicked off a 21-day fast – our first corporate fast at Ashley Ridge Church! As we prepare to make a big Surge forward in our building process, we’re asking God to clear the way. This is a significant season in the life of our church, and to help us communicate with everyone, we’re holding a series of “Family Meetings” where we’ll be sharing more details and taking lots of time for Q&A. We hope you’ll join us for one of the gatherings listed below:

Tuesday, March 10th at 6:30pm at The Ponds Farmhouse

Wednesday, March 11th at 6:30pm at the Church Office

Sunday, March 15th immediately following worship in the Library at Ashley Ridge

Ashley Ridge needs a house. Summerville needs a home.

Building Update

February 8

Building Update 001

In November of 2017, after a decade of talks and relationship with West Rock, we closed on 10 acres of land in the now blossoming area off of Highway 61 near 17-A. The land sits at the intersection of the first three phases of Summers Corner including the original section and the new Azalea Ridge area. We also have an option for a future purchase of an additional 10 adjacent acres to make a 20 acre parcel. Adjacent to neighborhoods like Legend Oaks, Victoria Pointe, and the The Ponds, Summers Corner now hosts the Rollings Middle School of the Arts as well as Sand Hill Elementary School and a Publix shopping center coming soon. Growth in the area is picking up speed and we are excited about the potential for our permanent home base for ministry in Summerville. In the last 90 days in the Azalea Ridge section alone over 70 homes have been sold. We have the opportunity to be an integral part of the fabric of Summerville for decades to come. Take a drive down Summers Drive sometime and look for our sign. Stay tuned for more updates!

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